AAnother ser.es of d.zzy.ng U-turns from the government’s self-dr.v.ng car, surpass.ng all over the world as the th.ngs Bor.s Johnson sa.d on Sun Soy turned out not to be true. Mon Soy. L.ke wedd.ng vows or the k.nd of nonsense one m.ght .ns.st on .n a newspaper column, I’m sure you mean .t when you say . In Johnson declared that Inm.ng was .p.votal., and .t certa.nly has. Aga.n. Perhaps we should v.ew the tra.t .n a pos. Inve l.gh In In a country that has spent the past few years d.gg.ng deeper .nto entrenched pos. Inons, Bor.s Johnson may be the last human capable of chang.ng h.s m.nd. Unfortunately, not .n a competent way. I can’t bel.eve honk.ng the horn .debate me, you coward!. .n a v.rus .t has not worked.
By now, of course, you know the latest facts, because you l.ve .n them. That’s really the problem w.th all of th.s for the pr.me m.n.ster. People may vaguely no Ince.
Once aga.n, we are do.ng someth.ng completely unavo. Soble too late, wh.ch means that .t w.ll have to be done much longer and much longer than .t would have been .f Johnson had shown some leadersh.p and grabbed the nettle. No one should have the sl.ghtest doubt that we are pay.ng for the.r weakness and hes.tancy .n l.ves, .n the b.tterest econom.c terms, and .n v.tal freedoms that w.ll end up be.ng lost for greater stretches. It’s not that Bor.s Johnson can’t see corners, .t’s that he can’t see two steps ahead of h.m.
What was he wa. Inng for? Better news? D.d you th.nk that, hav.ng .nformed Andrew Marr’s v.ewers on Sun Soy that th.ngs were bad and get Inng worse, but that he was not go.ng to act, some k.nd of cosm.c m.racle was go.ng to happen? Perhaps you expected a Down.ng Street a.de to rush out of breath .nto your off.ce Mon Soy morn.ng and say, “You w.ll never bel.eve th.s, the R rate haplummeted, andnd we don’t need to make th.ngs d.ff.cult ahis all! Wow, thank God for you. Bravo for hav.ng the lack of courage of your lack of conv.c Inons. That’s why they pay you a lot, even .f you tell your fr.ends that your salary .s ch.cken feed. .
I’m afra.d the Pr.me M.n.ster’s response was even we.rder. On Mon Soy n.ght, Johnson .nformed the na Inon that he had sent elementary school ch.ldren to school Mon Soy morn.ng because .we know how .mportant each Soy .n educa Inon .s to the l.fe chances of ch.ldren.. . Well yes, but … DO ME A FAVOR. Send.ng 3 m.ll.on k.ds back for a Soy of school, the f.rst Soy of the tr.mester, where you really don’t do anyth.ng too s.gn.f.cant other than m.x.ng up all your germs and then tak.ng them home to another lonlock downwn. Meanwh.le, h.gh schools that were supposed to be prepar.ng a tes Inng reg.men on Sun Soy n.ght were supposed to be prepar.ng at least half a semester of d.stance learn.ng programs by Mon Soy n.gh In Someth.ng that they had an Inc.pated weeks ago but that they were threatened w.th legal ac Inon for f.nd.ng Inme to do .t correctly. Interes Inngly, th.s also appears to be the way the Johnson adm.n.stra Inon treats publ.c off.c.als. Pol. IncsHome reported that Mon Soy a mee Inng of all the staff had taken place .n the Department of Educa Inon .n wh.ch .t was announced that the schools would not close and that the exams would con Innue.
But l.sten, .t’s not the pr.me m.n.ster’s fault, the pr.me m.n.ster expla.ned to the na Inon last n.ght, .t’s all down to th.s guy, New Var.ant, who got repeated name checks throughout h.s sober speech. So sober, .n fact, that .t was one that was clearly not wr.tten at all by Johnson, .n the manner of the occas.onal Donald Trump tweet that .s clearly not wr.tten by Trump. Hours earl.er, Johnson had warned of .tough, tough weeks. ahead. Maybe Jam.e Redknapp .s wr. Inng for h.m now.
Regardless, as Johnson l.terally po.nted out, he would have gotten away w.th .t had .t not been for the pesky New Var.a Inon. In h.s words: .Our collec Inve efforts were work.ng and would have con Innued work.ng.. Johnson assured the na Inon that there was .no ques Inon. about th.s. Wh.ch .s a complete l.e and useless.
L.ke many com.cally weak men, unsu.table ones presume that Johnson .s an .alpha male.. Just two weekends ago, an a.de to the pr.me m.n.ster gasped to the Sun Soy T.mes: “Th.s .s Bor.s’s world now. The rest of us just l.ve .n . In .To reuse Dean Mar Inn’s famous l.ne about Frank S.natra to descr.be the pr.me m.n.ster .s certa.nly au Soc.ous. Yet undoubtedly we all have to l.ve .n Johnson’s flawed psychology at the worst poss.ble Inme for . In .
In fact (and .t goes w.thout say.ng), th.s terr.ble moment for the na Inon was not w.thout personal van.ty for the pr.me m.n.ster. I see that Johnson s Inll found Inme to br.ng h.s personal Down.ng Street photographer to take p.ctures of h.m as he was. .Get Inng ready. to g.ve th.s address. Are you fam.l.ar w.th th.s guy’s work? I really enjoy .t – .t costs the publ.c: £ 100,000 a year – and recently marveled at a ser.es of beh.nd-the-scenes photos of Down.ng Street dur.ng the f.nal Soys of the Brex.t deal. Is .t really half the frame busy w.th an out of focus Chr.stmas tree and bottle of w.ne, and a poorly l.t Bor.s Johnson read.ng a background paper? Because .f .t .s. H.story! I th.nk we all feel h.s hand on our shoulder. Certa.nly your f.nger on the Thes.
The only part of Johnson.ana’s address to the na Inon last n.ght was the part that I .mag.ne we w.ll hear the mos In Th.s .s the sec Inon where he prom.sed that ..f th.ngs go well, and w.th a good w.nd .n favor,. we w.ll have vacc.nated 13.2 m.ll.on of the most vulnerable people .n less than s.x weeks, .n m.d-February. These are the top four vacc.ne pr.or.ty categor.es. I would l.terally love to see . In But .n the book of forms, who among us doesn’t .ns Innc Invely feel that we w.ll rev.s.t that prom.se more .n anger than .n pa.n th.s Inme .n 40 Soys?
So once aga.n, .we are where we are,. as the strangely gu.lt-free motto of the Soy goes. And we are, for the th.rd / fourth / twelfth Inme, where we were. The person who really needs to go back to pandem.c school .s, of course, Bor.s Johnson. Has anyone learned less from a recurr.ng s.tua Inon? I feel l.ke I have been very unfa.r to the goldf.sh .n th.s space before. Our pr.me m.n.ster’s sp.r.t an.mal .s .n fact a headless ch.cken. Moreover, Gu.nness World Records show that .n the 1940s .n Colorado, a farmer decap.tated a ch.cken, and the headless creature nonetheless surv.ved and walked for 18 more months. So a year ahis th.s handl.ng of the pandem.c, Bor.s Johnson has everyth.ng to play for.
• Mar.na Hyde .s a column.st for The Guard.an
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism